Regulation and approval of low calorie sweeteners by international authorities

A presentation by Dr Rebeca López-García at the ISA Conference 2018
Low-caloric sweeteners (LCS) are legally considered food additives by international authorities. According to the Codex Alimentarius, “a food additive is any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing packaging, transport or holding of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result, in it or its by-products becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such foods.” Since food additives such as LCS are added intentionally to foods, their safety must be carefully studied before introduction to the food supply. As opposed to drugs, foods can be consumed by any family member at any given time throughout a lifetime. Therefore, clear understanding of the metabolic fate of each compound and its potential physiological effects is needed to consider a specific compound for approval. Risk assessment of substances to be added to food must consider the safety throughout a lifetime of exposure. The safety of these compounds is studied through internationally recognized methods to answer specific questions and to show that under the intended conditions of use, these compounds can be safely added to foods. At the national level, each country may have their own approval processes and requisites, but the scientific basis of risk assessment and approval has a lot in common. This presentation will cover the basic process that ensures the safety of NCS prior to market introduction.

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